Members of Parliament (MPs) have indicated that they will vote down Theresa May’s European Union Withdrawal Deal for a fourth time after the Prime Minister said she would bring the deal back to Parliament in early June.
Labour Party officials have said they will vote against the deal if there is no agreement during compromise talks that have been ongoing for several weeks now. To date those talks show few signs of any agreement being reached.
Conservative Brexiteer MPs have again said they will vote against the deal, while the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (DUP) has said that its MPs will vote against May’s agreement unless there are substantial changes to the Irish backstop, the mechanism in the deal that guarantees there is no border between the Northern and Southern Irish communities.
Owen Paterson, a member of the Brexiteer European Research Group and the former environment secretary, said, “Sadly, we will vote against it, yes, because as the DUP said in their statement, it doesn’t change the essential nature of the withdrawal agreement, which is unacceptable.”
Paterson added that voters are not flocking to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party because they want to vote for May’s deal; they support Farage because they voted “leave” and the country should have left on 29 March, so they feel “thwarted and cheated.”
Members of the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party that want to remain in the European Union, as well as the Scottish Nationalists have said they would only vote for the deal if a second referendum were added to the vote, an unlikely scenario given that there is still not a majority in Parliament that support another vote at this time.
Should the Conservatives fair badly in the upcoming European elections, due to take place from 23 to 26 May across Europe (including in the United Kingdom), there will be fresh calls for May to resign, with some party members already calling for her to go.
Reportedly, a party official has already ruled out a fifth attempt to pass May’s deal should it again be rejected by MPs.
However, the Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, claimed, “It is now time for Parliament to make a decision, reflecting the manifestos of both the Conservative and Labour parties at the last general election and to deliver Brexit in the way that the public were promised.”
Barclay famously made a speech in Parliament urging MPs to back an extension to Article 50, before voting against it immediately after he concluded his address.
One political commentator noted that May’s latest move puts an effective deadline on cross-party talks and offers a last ditch attempt to get her Brexit through Parliament for a Prime Minister who is, “running out of options and running out of time.”